Detection of coronavirus in the central nervous system of a child with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis

Pediatrics. 2004 Jan;113(1 Pt 1):e73-6. doi: 10.1542/peds.113.1.e73.


We present a case in which human coronavirus was detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of a child presumed to have acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. In murine models, coronavirus has been found to cause a chronic demyelinating condition that resembles multiple sclerosis. Additionally, there is in vitro evidence of human coronavirus's ability to infect neural cells. This case report provides additional support for the hypothesis that coronavirus may be an important etiologic factor in the pathogenesis of demyelinating disease in humans.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / virology
  • Coronavirus / genetics
  • Coronavirus / isolation & purification*
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications*
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / diagnosis
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / virology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction